White rabbits. Here’s to a bountiful Beltane. I’m not feeling great at the moment. A night of magical thinking was followed by a night of simple nightmares. My lungs hurt, I’ve got what my daughter used to call a ‘flipping headache’ and we lost by about 38-3 at the Power League on the banks of the North Circular yesterday evening. It was pissing down with rain, unseasonally cold and someone had added an extra couple of feet to either side of our goal. I travelled back home shivering, unshowered and unchanged in sodden football shirt and shorts.
I listened to Liverpool succumb to Chelski on Five Live, edited a piece about healthy food and parents inspired to action by Jamie’s School Dinners and stuffed myself with comfort cake and chocolate. I took the ensuing sugar crash as a cue to go to bed, where I slept fitfully for all of, oh, 30 minutes before I woke with a start replaying the third Chelski goal – or was it the fifth one we conceded? – with my left foot.
I gave up counting sheep when I stopped wanting to be a shepherd. Now I count the number of times I wake up during the night. I got to 26 last night before the buses started over the speed humps and it was time to get up again.
In the meantime I’d dreamt of Basel and bicycles and acid and Albert Hofman, who died on the same day that I was about to start vortexing about death (like Hofman, I must have had a vorgefühl); and I was tripping with Ken Livingstone, who’d just lost the mayoral election to Bojo by one vote. I couldn’t bring myself to tell Ken that I’d not bothered to vote, or that Bojo had finished the acid, or that there were now Thatcher-headed hydras scouring the streets of London, seeking out bendy buses and turning them to stone.
Ken was crying, as he once made me (it’s a story for another time). ‘All I ever wanted was to be mayor of London,’ he sobbed. Albert Hofman came past on his bicycle again, saying ‘You should see the trees, he’s chopping them down.’ Syd Barrett said he’d written a song about it – the bicycle, not the trees. ‘You can sing it if you like,’ he said with a huge scarecrow grin, which turned into a tube tunnel. And then there was Bojo, being driven by Bob Crow, roaring towards us with his white locks flowing. Except they were no longer white, but scaly green, each one a snake’s head spitting venom, which wasn’t venom but a red liquid, which wasn’t liquid but a solid thread, which turned blue and dissolved as soon as you touched it.
And then I woke up and Ken hadn’t lost and Bojo hadn’t won and Syd Barrett had gone back to his book on the shelf and it had stopped raining and I realised it was May Day and I said ‘White Rabbits’ in the hope that it will bring London luck this election day. Nothing to do with acid at all.